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Unimportant Scribblings

Ina Fortune Haynes' writings were not scribblings, nor were they unimportant; she just liked to call them that. They were the columns she wrote for the Courier in the years 1938-1941. We've unearthed and posted over 30 of them. We trust you'll enjoy her musings on topics both weighty and trivial in those innocent times.


Cliffside Day 2013

There's a story from the Courier about the program over at the Duke plant, and lots of purty pitchers taken back in Cliffside proper.


The Carpenter Family Story

An important figure in Cliffside's past was this man, Robert Edgar Carpenter, shown here in this 1928 portrait. Equally important was his father, James Pinkney Carpenter. Here's their story with photos and artifacts.


House Lists

Who lived where in Cliffside? If you're interested in 1964, we've found an old county cross-reference directory that lists 667 individuals on the streets and roads in and around Cliffside.


“A Little Hill To Climb”

W. T. Tate was born near Cliffside before the town existed. As a small boy he went to the Simmons school on Ferry Road. He worked in the mills at Henrietta and Cliffside. He was destined to become a preacher, and he did, after graduating from Wake Forest in 1916. Then he wrote this compelling memoir, "A Little Hill To Climb," about the first three decades of his life. Another valuable find by Don Bailey.


Service Rules

store staff

We want clerks that can say 'TATERS' when the customer says 'TATERS'...” demanded the manager of the Cliffside Mills Store about 1918.

This old document laid out the rules the staff was to follow when answering the phone, greeting customers, etc., all of which would be pertinent today. The customer was always right!


Cliffside Sketches

Ed Atkinson Ed Atkinson The latest: stories of a true pioneer of Cliffside, James Edward Atkinson (1857-1954), the author's grandfather.


New Feature

Side Roads logo

Travel along any road or street and you'll something of interest. A patch of flowers, an abandoned building, there's likely to be a story behind it.



Important Concert

Davis & Young

In the 1920's, Helen Davis and Victor Young were nationally-known performers. Thomas Edison hired them to go on tour to demonstrate his new phonograph. They appeared in some of the largest venues in the country—and in Cliffside!


Profile: Reno Bailey

Reno - Age 6

Adding insult to the outrageous travestry of the rumored presentation of a plaque for something or other, an anonymous cousin of Reno submitted this indepth profile.


Movie Tycoon

Young Earl

Of all the boys in Cliffside who grew up to become movie producers and owners of their own studio, this one definitely stands out. From only a few of the many news stories about him published over the span of four decades, you'll get an inside glimpse at the background, personality and talents of the inimitable Earl Owensby.


Town Map

Find the house where you lived and the streets where you walked and played, on this map drawn in 1942.



Why this web site?

Store Building

In the southeastern corner of Rutherford County, North Carolina, along the Second Broad River, is the village of Cliffside. Or more accurately, what's left of the village of Cliffside. This site is dedicated to preserving the memories and lore of the little mill town we once knew.


Nickel & Dimed

In the '60s Cliffside residents underwent two different rent increases. The first was 10¢ a room, then four years later, 40¢. There were other increases, too, on car sheds and other conveniences. The old homes were wearing out at a rapid pace, and the increases were inevitable.


The Winner!

Claude Scruggs, shown here with his wife Aquilla, won the 'marathon,' a foot race from the Junction to downtown Cliffside (about 3.5 miles). The racers ran alongside the railroad tracks —as a train filled with spectators moved alongside them, giving new meaning to the word "grandstand."

Oh, did we mention, the race was held in 1910, about 45 years before this photo was taken.


He Stayed, Then He Left

Unless you study or teach there (or have forgotten), you might not be aware that Phillip White retired as principal of Cliffside School — well, actually about 8 years ago! Yes, after 36 terms, he hung up that famous intimidating leather strap he inherited from Mr. Beatty back in 1967.


They Remembered When

On Cliffside School's 75th anniversary (in 1997), five of those who were present at the 1922 dedication recall their years as students in the magnificent new building.


Writings of Charles Robinson

He grew up on the family farm out on Highway 120, graduating from Cliffside High in 1945. He attended UNC in Chapel Hill for a couple of years. He spent most of his working years in Greensboro, selling insurance for the Pilot Life company. In all that time, he wrote stories, poems and memories for his own satisfaction. We've published some of them here.


Poems of Cliffside

Listen, I’ve got to tell you—
Cannot keep it longer or be still—
Walked down the street one day last week
And got a job in the Cliffside Mill.”

That's just a taste of the poetic offerings you'll find in this section.


Profile: Ben Humphries


He's a Cliffside icon, a home-grown historian and genealogist, a man with a sponge-like memory, who seems to remember every facet of his life and times. Janna Dea Harris has shaped a nice profile of Ben and captured a few of his many stories.


Tri-Community Little League

If you played on a Tri-Community Little League team from its first year in 1957 to the present, you might find your team's photo here. There are 84 team photos (over 1200 players). And you'll learn how the Tri-Community franchise came about. Few of the players and coaches are identified. If you can identify any, contact us.


Jim Scancarelli-artist with Cliffside ties

Jean Gordon of The Daily Courier tells of the artist's ties to Cliffside.



What year did your grandpa graduate from Cliffside High? (Don't know? We looked it up. It was 1948.) In the 80's, someone researched and compiled a list of graduates of every year there was a Cliffside High School (and the first two years of Chase High). We've created a digital version for your reference.


Man for All Seasons

Raleigh Biggerstaff, whose biography someone should write, was one of Cliffside's most talented people. Here's a sketch he made for the cover of a reunion program in 1988.


Dr. T. C. Lovelace

In a recent Chimes, we had a short article on this man who was lower Rutherford's physician for decades. We reprint it here along with an exten-sive profile of Dr. Lovelace, and the obituary of a black lady who served as his housekeeper, assistant and confident for 65 years. The profile appeared in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal in October 1981.


In the News

From The Rutherford County Sun, dozens of articles and columns from the late 1920s, describing events both tragic and humorous; changes to the town; advertising by Cliffside stores and businesses; and community, school and church news.


Down On The River

One fine day about 30 years ago, Roy Lee Harris took his four kids down to the Cliffside Mills dam site and, naturally, took his camera along. Here are a few of the photos he took that day. His daughter Sherry, shown at left, sent them to us.



It's been a few months since ol' 110 was hauled from Stone Mountain, Ga. to its new home in Chatham County. Since then it's been repainted and dedicated. Read about it, and view our slideshow of its big move.


More “Growing Up” Stories

You've enjoyed her Cliffside Sketches. Now, there's a new collection of JoAnn Huskey's stories —of Forest City in the '40's. She has fond memories of the people and places (and pets) of her childhood.



From these 51 faces, can you find someone you know?


Book cover

This new Cliffside book is a sequel to the earlier "Faces & Places of Old Cliffside" with 246 pages of articles, essays, news stories, memoirs, anecdotes and 184 images, some never published. Like the other book, it's $24.95. Buy the pair of them for only $37.00 total, a savings of $12.90! Call 704 443-5214 to order.

Another Train Story

In the early '60s the Cliffside Railroad was the last in the state to use steam locomotives. As such it was a magnet for newspapers looking for a story.

Here's one of the last stories before the old chuffers were gone.


“My Story” by Grover Haynes, Jr.

From his infancy to his Naval service in World II and Korea, Grover hits the highlights of his young years in Florida, at Chestnut Hill, on Hazelhurst Farm and in Cliffside.


The Twin Reporters

Lois & Sue

We've added over 30 "new" columns from the Twin Reporters, all from 1937. Read what Grandma 'n 'em were doing back then.


Where Are They Now?

Learn what happened to your old friends since they left Cliffside. Click on a photo.

Dan Wortman

Frances McMurray Houser

Billy Ingram

Sherry Harris Phelps

James Price

Ed Hamrick

Myles Haynes, Jr.

Harry Ingram, Jr.

Shirley Crawford Thompson

Lalage G. Freeman

Charles H. Lemmons

“I am so happy to review the Cliffside memories. My teachers also included Miss Dickerson; Mr Huff [Huss], math teacher; Mr. Beatty, principal. I listened to the presidents speech on the radio in class the day after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor...”
                         — Ruby Ward Cervino



Did you ever wonder how it all started? In our Documents section we've added the Articles of Incorporation for Cliffside Mills, dated February 4, 1901. It's the agreement between R. R. Haynes and his other partners to start a business that would prosper for over 100 years.

Remember those old two, three and four digit phone numbers? Find the number of everyone in town in the Rutherford County Phone Directory for 1944.

Browse through these and many other old Cliffside papers. This is history, folks.


Visit The Archives

The snippets on this page appear for only a few months and then, alas, in order to make room for new features, they vanish into thin air.

Or do they?

Actually they don't vanish at all, but take up residence on one of our archives pages. Browse through them occasionally. You may find an item you missed when it was first published.

Note: None of the pages on this site is ever archived, all remain wherever they were first stored, in History, Memories, etc. Only these front-page teasers are moved to the archive section.